I don’t want to beat a dead horse and am aware that it is just the fourth week of the NFL season, however, with Sunday nights loss in Detroit, the Patriots have no other choice than to wake up.
Bill Belichick always stresses that winning games comes down to the three areas of the game; offense, defense and special teams, and right now, the Patriots aren’t producing in any of those areas.
The defense hasn’t been able to stop a nose bleed, getting torched both through the air and on the ground, however, a lot of those struggles are large in part that the offense can’t string together any drives.
Week one the Patriots defense looked really well and most of that was because the Patriots did what they did best by controlling the clock. Everyone knows that the one way to beat the Patriots is to keep the ball out of 12’s hands and make them play from behind by tiring out the Patriots defense early in the game, which is what the Jaguars and Lions did perfectly.
I hate saying this in week four, but this week is a ‘must-win’ game. With Miami having a chance to gain a three game lead in the division and oozing with confidence with Ryan Tannehill’ returning from missing all of last year. With games against Kansas City, Green Bay, Chicago, Minnesota, Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Miami again, the Patriots schedule isn’t the easiest.
I am a firm believer in Belichick’s strategy of treating the first four weeks as almost an extended pre-season in terms of finding the guys who work in different schemes and sets, however, this year looks different. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski seem frustrated, you could tell from the pressers after Sunday’s loss. They need Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman to return to the form they are capable of if they want to move the ball down the field, and the veterans on the defense need to take accountability and step it up.
With a huge divisional game coming up this week, I fully expect a ‘Cincinnati 2014 Week 5’ performance from both Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to silence all the critics out there. However, with a very tough road ahead, if the patriots don’t turn this around soon, we could be in for a long, and much different fall and winter than past.
Like we always say though, In Tom and Bill We Trust.